Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
The meaning of the word whatever has been drastically downgraded in the past few years. Now is often means nothing more than "duh." Teens use it when they roll their eyes at something their parent or teacher says to them. Adults use it to end a discussion they no longer wish to continue.
But when whatever is used in the Bible, it means everything, the totality of something. When Jesus says in Mark 24:11 and several times in John, "Whatever you ask in prayer" He is giving us a promise that everything we ask will be heard and will be granted, if it aligns with His will.
In the passage cited above, Paul tells us to think on all things that are true, noble, right and pure. He also admonishes us to put into practice everything we have learned from him. "Whatever" truly has a rich, deep meaning to the follower of Christ.
Dear Lord, Help me to remember Your definition of "whatever."